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Old Whistler band, new Whistler band

Slush reunites for release of eighth album, Black Collar Crowd plays fourth show

Who: Slush with Carpenter and Black Collar Crowd

What: The Punk Night

Where: Boot Pub

When: Sunday, July 31

Whistler’s most resilient DIY band is back this Sunday night with yet another pile of CDs to give away.

Punk band Slush dates back to 1992 when drummer Jamie Weatherbie and singer/songwriter and guitar player Adam Leggett started playing music together in the Northern Ontario town of New Liskeard.

Originally called the False Wooden Legs, the band recorded four independent albums between 1993 and 1997 : 15 Feet, Karl The Pornstar, Faces (deemed "the worst album we recorded" on the band’s website and Run Mr. Postman Run , which was never released.

In 1997, Slush was forced to take a break when most of the members moved to different parts of B.C. to snowboard. The following summer, when the prodigal band members returned, the band recorded their fifth album, Life’s Pretty Easy When You’re Fat & Greasy . But the reunion was short-lived, with the majority of the band members heading back west again when the snow started falling.

Over the next few years the Slush boys hooked up in Vancouver long enough to record a sixth album, Call The Neighbors The Boys Got Jobs , before splintering once again when two band members decided to spend some time learning to surf in Australia.

But a globe’s worth of ocean couldn’t melt Slush’s enthusiasm and in 2001 the band reunited in Whistler. Founders Weatherbie and Leggett weathered another series of lineup shuffles, which eventually resulted in the additions of Matt Elliot on guitar and vocals and Gavin McDermott on bass. The foursome recorded a seventh album, Global Incineration , in 2002 and celebrated their decade anniversary in 2003 with a 26-song compilation of re-mastered songs from the first seven albums called Ten Years Wasted , which they gave away free to everyone who came to the release party show.

In the past two years with members in and out of the country, the band has still managed to pull album number eight, Buried Inside , out of their sporadic basement jam sessions.

The album will be released at the band’s show at the Boot Pub this Sunday night, where they will perform as a three-piece, sans guitar player Elliot.

The new album shows a new side of Slush, Weatherbie said.

"Our first two-three albums we were just learning how to play. The last two before this we got into a more fast, technical style. This one is half melodic, slower punk and the rest is really fast.

"Adam did a lot of experimenting," he added.

True to form they will be giving away 100 copies of Buried Inside to Punk Night show-goers. Slush has never been about the money – a big part of how a band can stay together for 13 years without getting signed.

They freely offer their wares for download or streaming on the Internet. Every song they’ve ever recorded, a total of 75, is available on their website with the amicable disclaimer "all we ask for the free downloads is leave us a message in the comment section and let us know what you think."

"It’s more about people hearing us than selling it and making money," Weatherbie explained. "We don’t have much time to play or to tour so the Internet is our best friend."

The Internet has made them fans all over the world, with Weatherbie citing recent downloads from Portugal, Brazil and Poland.

But there’s something stronger than the Internet and more binding than a big name recording contract holding this band together.

"Me and Adam will keep jamming as long as we can," Weatherbie said. "For the next 10-15 years at least because he thinks he’s going to die young.

"As long as we’re in the same town we’ll keep playing and jamming together."

Black Collar Crowd goes for four

With their 13-year history and eight-album count perennial punkers Slush add something old to this Sunday’s Punk Night lineup. On the other end of the spectrum, playing their fourth show together, Whistler band Black Collar Crowd adds something new.

Formed in December 2004, the three-piece band consists of Luke Pollard on guitar and vocals, Mike Gallo on bass and Jef Waz on drums, playing all original music written by Pollard.

The band introduced their brand of raw, melodic punk to the Whistler scene at a spring fundraiser for the Creekside underground skatepark.

"I was really stoked to play that show because it’s a community-based thing," Pollard said. "I was just down the other day at that new skatepark. To think that we played a show that helped raise money to build that, it gives you a sense of pride, involvement in the community. I like playing stuff like that rather than just playing for the money."

With opportunities like the skatepark fundraiser and regular events like The Punk Night, Pollard said Whistler has been a great place for a band just starting out.

"The crowd response has been pretty good. Everyone seems pretty stoked on our sound," he said.

"For such a small town it’s got a pretty healthy music scene."

Also playing this Sunday at the Boot Pub is Carpenter, a band featuring members of Vancouver’s All State Champion.

For information on shows at the Boot call 604-932-3338.